Arlington County Board Authorizes $6.6M Construction Contract to Build Homeless Services Center

  • Reconfiguring two-and-a-half levels of 2020 14th St. N
  • Center will have 50 year-round beds, 5 medical respite beds and 25 winter beds
  • Businesses will remain open during construction

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Arlington County Board today approved a contract for $6.6 million, including a contingency of $1.1 million, to transform two-and-a-half floors of office space at 2020 14th St. North into the County's Homeless Services Center (HSC). The work will include renovating and reconfiguring the interior of the second and third floors and enclosing the building's first floor breezeway.

“The Board's approval is an important step forward to help some of the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette. “Through this center, we will be able to provide the best-practice services that we know help people get off the streets, into permanent housing and begin to put their lives back together.”

The Board voted 3 to 0 to approve the award of contract to Miller Brothers, Inc., which was the lowest bidder in a competitive bid process. Its bid was within the County's projected budget.

The HSC construction will include:

  • Modifications to the third floor to create a dormitory, including 50 year-round beds, 5 medical respite beds, and an additional 25 beds during winter months;
  • A separate entrance, with stairs and elevator for the HSC in the enclosed first floor space;
  • A separate service elevator and stairs with access from the service alley;
  • Construction in the garage to reinforce the enclosed first level for future County uses;
  • Additional supports for the two new HSC elevators and stairs

The three retail operations on the first and lower levels of the building will remain open during construction. The contractor is required to limit noise from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., which is the peak lunch service period for the building's two restaurants.

The HSC is expected to open in early 2015.


Arlington County acquired the building at 2020 14th Street North in November 2012 to provide space for a Homeless Services Center that will replace the inadequate Emergency Winter Shelter, also in the Courthouse neighborhood, and to meet County needs for additional office space once the Court Square West building is taken down.

Ending homelessness

The County's efforts to prevent and end homelessness are guided by the approved 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. The goal of the plan is that no individual or family in Arlington lack access to decent, affordable housing. Arlington's 10 Year Plan is based on the best practice strategy of “housing first,” which focuses on preventing homelessness, moving people who do become homeless into housing rapidly, and providing the wrap-around services necessary for them to maintain their housing.

Center services will focus on moving homeless persons from the street into permanent housing. In addition to providing a safe place for people to sleep, the Center will:

  • Fulfill basic needs by providing meals and access to shower and laundry facilities;
  • Assess clients' needs and strengths and develop individualized service plans;
  • Connect people with mental health, substance abuse treatment, and other services;
  • Help people find employment and permanent housing, and enroll in benefit programs for which they qualify.

The total cost estimate for the HSC is $8.877 million, which includes the $6.610 million construction authorization, $1.508 million in soft costs (design and construction administration fees, County staff time allocated to the project, permits and inspections), and $0.758 million for furnishings and security and IT equipment. Funds for building the HSC were made available from close-out funds in previous fiscal years, 2013 IDA bond funding, and contingency funding.

To read the staff report on this item, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item #12 on the Agenda for the February 25 Recessed County Board Meeting.

Arlington Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the “10 miles square” parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. Slightly smaller than 26 square miles, it is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, and one of only a handful with the prized Aaa/AAA/AAA bond rating. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods and quality schools, and has received numerous awards for Smart Growth and transit-oriented development. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world — including the Pentagon — Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.